Photo courtesy of Variety
Several Dumbledores are revealed in Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, the latest Harry Potter feature from Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is directed by David Yates and Eddie Redmayne reprises the role of Newt Scamander, with Jacob Fogler as Jacob Kowalski and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore. Plus, a Gellert Grindelwald recast brings Mads Mikkelsen to the screen in a stunning performance that brings depth to the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
Released on Friday, April 15, “Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets” was a disappointment at the box office, seeing just $43 million opening weekend. In comparison, the first film in the franchise made $74 million and the second $63 million during their respective opening weekends. Polls are still on the feature film’s financial success, but fans say it was another thrilling success of a film for avid fans new to the wizarding world. Although the film primarily focuses on Jacob Kowalski, Albus Dumbledore makes brief appearances throughout the film with a few secrets revealed not only about himself and his family, but also the nature of his relationship with Grindelwald.
To many familiar with the wizarding world, Dumbledore’s sexuality was no secret. JK Rowling addressed this in response to a fan question at an event in 2007, but we finally see this plotline canonically resolved in the film’s staging. Author JK Rowling has been criticized for adding retroactive continuity to the plots of his work. While some fans appreciate the inclusion of this plot development, many criticize Rowling for her performative actions, especially after her political stances and anti-transgender sentiment sparked controversy.
Overall, the movie did well with pacing, but it still lagged in a few places. Those who have seen the Fantastic Beasts franchise before, or just the Harry Potter movies, will be delighted to see both new and returning faces. The film delves deeper into the story of Albus Dumbledore. If you’re not a huge Harry Potter fan and would like to be, this movie is a great introduction. Watching the first Fantastic Beasts movie before watching this movie might give context to some of the storylines as it mocks and hints at issues with the actual production of the previous two movies in the franchise. The film also introduces new visualizations of tools that we hadn’t seen in the original seven films, in part to the new generation of computer-generated imagery.
“Dumbledore’s Secrets” brings memorable faces, beautiful scenery, cinematography and spells to the big screen. It’s a great movie for audiences of all ages. Keep in mind that there are a few scenes that had the audience quivering in anticipation.